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November 28, 2005

Seventeen (1995)

(Couldn't resist this - supposed to working but instead passed some time pawing through my old journals from school days. All I want to do now is give me a cuddle)

I have not been watching television or going to see movies. I am too busy. Too poor. I have no money to fuel the things i would like to do.

But I went to see Perspectives, the year 12 art exhibition. I wandered quickly through, lost in thought. My dexterity of mind, my impatience, does not give me many avenues for examining other people's talents closely.

I was struck by one of the exhibits. A self portrait, pensive, stripey blue and white pajamas. Another - a scene of Australian life, three overweight vacant faces staring at a TV screen, surrounded by cultural icons. Sad. Both were sad. I wondered what sadness was behind this pretty girl with the pensive eyes. She was reflecting, locked inside an all-girl's school. Feeling trapped?

I notice, here and there at irregular moments, art surrounding me. I see a wall covered in graffiti, marvelling at the cartoon images assaulting the viewer with bright colour. I write as if on some kind of drug. I'm not. I am pensive, too. I can't express myself in pictures so get lost in words. Today I have been vague. Sunday. Nothing day.

I feel like crying, I'm confused. I feel young. I feel old. Paradoxes surround me. I am leader, I am follower. I have been working today. Never before have I had such a lack of motivation before exams. I cry silently for intelligent people lost in social expectations, intellects quenched by beer, not knowledge.

I try to define my boundaries. I love words. My career is defined by that. Never will I be a clothes designer, a commercial artist. I covet. I want to be everything.

I want to be the girl in the blue and white pajamas. I want to be Sylvia Plath. I want to be rcognised. I want to be ignored.

I want my words to touch someone in the core of their soul. I want my essays to be clear insights into the deep workings of an author's brain. I try to fight feelings of failure as one of my essays is beaten senseless by a more intelligent person's insights.

I depend on my writing. I need it. I need clarification, and peace. If I was religious I would pray.

I beg you to understand my words and the complex

person that

is

me.

*later in the year*

Last night! A night of nothing but so much fun. After six hours of virtual solitude and history history history Deng Xiaoping and what not I emerge back into the land of the living. Mindless television for an hour or so.

Carl bounces in. Do we want to go out? We all four decked out in groovy jackets against wind and rain. Drive to Fremantle in search of pool tables and smoky atmospheres. No go.

We drive to Cottesloe beach and tumble out for a bit of living. We leave the car and trek to the rocky jetty, standing out surrounded by crashing waves sending up saltspray and coating our faces with mist. We feel fear and exhilaration. We climb the rocks and sand to grass and take in the scene. For a while we stand against the wind take off our jackets laugh out loud and let the wind be our support system. My mind is clarified, cleansed.

*later still in the year*

I stupidly got up an hour earlier than I needed to, because my clock was set an hour before the actual time. Damn I needed that extra hour.

Life is blah blah ho hum drum. I have no crush on anyone and noone has a crush on me. I eat when I am stoned and I am stoned too much and more and more and so on.

My life has become all kinds of excesses, none of which are good for me. I am 18 in 26 days.

That is three weeks and five days.

That is 25 sleeps.

That is 19 working days.

And this is quite pathetic.

Signs of Life

She shakes it twice, three times, but the blue line is still there - and definite now, not blurred. She stares blankly at the back of the dunny door for a few seconds, then – Fuck – she stands, yanks her knickers violently up over her thighs and kicks it open.

Outside in the backyard the cicadas are in a cacophony of crazed song, invisible among the piles of dead leaves and shrivelled plants. For a brief, lucid moment she thinks I really must get to the gardening one of these days but under the harsh glare of the midday sun her knees suddenly buckle and she closes her eyes, trying to catch her breath.

“Mum? Are you OK?? She opens her eyes. Ben stands uncertainly on the steps to the house, shading his eyes as he looks down at her. She hastily wipes her eyes, rakes her sleeve across her nose. “Hi love, how are ya? I’m all right, just a bit upset, that’s all,? she says, managing a watery smile and wave. “Go in and watch telly, I’ll be in soon.?

He pauses, looks doubtful, but obediently turns and goes back into the house’s cool interior, letting the screen door bang behind him. Shivering despite the heat, she bends double and pushes her face into the prickly brown grass as she howls.

Later, she lies awake listening to the clock painfully tick away the hours. In the mottled glare of the streetlamp she can see a blowfly tracing slow loops and whorls on the bedroom wall, blindly walking the same pattern over and over. From the corner of her eye she can see his eyelashes twitching against the curve of his cheek, hairy limbs splayed like a child’s on top of the covers. She turns her head, studies his long brown torso, reaches out and touches his belly button softly. His eyebrows furrow, even in sleep, and he issues a warning snort.

She wonders whether she really exists.

In the bathroom, she splashes tepid water on her face and stares into her own immutable eyes reflected in the mirror. Liar she whispers harshly. Lying, dirty bitch. Her head fills with the rough hands that raked over her body, the mouth that whispered meaningless words into her panting lips, the swaggering way he had left the pub while she sat, feeling sick, alone at a table in the corner.

He leans in the doorway, watching her pack her bags. You can’t just leave he finally blurts, raking a hand through his hair, bristling with frustration and hurt. I mean, for fuck’s sake – what have I done? Where are you going? She says nothing, concentrating on folding her shirts neatly, packing them away. She tries to avoiding looking at Ben, who sits silently on the bed, mouth set in a line. Her heart aches with goodbyes – my beautiful, beautiful boys I have destroyed you - but she can’t find the words to begin. I’ll phone…, she calls after him helplessly, as he stalks out of sight.

At the clinic, the nurse is brisk and apparently unconcerned. We’re going to insert the needle now, she says cheerfully, so you might feel a little discomfort…She winces, staring at the ceiling papered with posters of smiling clowns, of waterfalls and islands, beaches glowing with white sand. Turning her face to the sick-green wall, she drifts into the distance thinking of guns, of winter, of tiny shoes and finally nothing.

On the bus, a saucer-eyed little girl watches her sob, mouth agape, despite her mother’s embarrassed admonishments. Staring blindly out of the window, she tries to ignore the slow seep of blood, her hand curling instinctively around her belly when the child, finally slapped on the legs, begins to wail.

Two delicious and wrenching poems

Mirror

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful --
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

-- Sylvia Plath (1961)

i like my body when it is with your

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric furr, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh....And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

from & (1925)

The naked bunch ...

Woah, that's weird. I just checked in to the concrete site for the first time in ages and had to stop and rub my eyes - suddenly I was looking at snatches of life from all over the place, splashed all over the front page.

It is a timely event, as i have recently discovered that people READ MY BLOG and it came as a bit of a shock. People have looked at me with a pitying expression and said, "Well, der Flip, it is up on the web, so what did you expect?" but I suddenly felt laid bare in that uncomfortable 'oh-shit-i-forgot-to-wear-knickers-today' kind of way.

You see, I haven't exactly told anyone about this except for some near and dear girlfriends who have the gory details of my life whispered in their ears in REAL LIFE and who would therefore be yawning - not yearning - to read the salacious stories I love to blurt online. But there are others who have snuck into the corner and watched me work, picking the corners of my mind to try to uncover more - what, details? - about my life and who I am. And it feels strange.

I have no issue with complete strangers at all. They are so distant as to be invisible, and more fool them if they wish to tune in to my occasional ramblings on the odd occasion. It is those in between who raise my ... not ire, but unease.

Thing is, I can't complain. This is after all a public space, the public sphere. But my thoughts are occasionally private. Choosing the online medium for journalistic musings means I have no choice but to thrust myself at the mercy of those who wish to lend their ears. I had been careful to draw a veil between my personal and professional life, as no prospective employer needs to hear my chatter on the benefits of Brazilians (that's the nationality, not the hair removal scheme) but I had not really stopped to consider the "in-betweeners".

Anyway, that said, some news of another kind. I am still waiting to find out if I have been granted the Holy Grail of an interview with the Herald Sun in Melbourne. They have kept me hanging on for weeks now, and the conspiracy theorist in me thinks that is part of the master plan. They are watching and waiting until I have forgotten who Rob Hulls is, or what the TAC stands for ... and then they will strike. Thing is, I have launched my way through the process with equal measures of fear, excitement, determination and regret, and am no closer to reaching a conclusion on whether this is something I really want - or that I am just fighting to win.

November 8, 2005

A brief about briefs

Thank god I was wearing decent knickers - that's all I'm saying.

No, that's a lie - I'm going to say more. I was talking to Nat the other week about what this blog should be for and briefly (there it is again!) I considered making it into the sort of bookwormish blog I could proudly show to other people as testament to my fine talents as a writer. But recently, all I have been fucking thinking about is work, work, work, prospects, prospects, prospects and I am not remotely interested in talking about that old shite right now.

What I do want to talk about again is sex and alcohol, which have once again lured me into trouble of the most titillating kind and left me feeling fired up and excited and ready to burst!

But maybe later. Once again, all I will say is thank god I was wearing fabulous knickers.

A brief about briefs

Thank god I was wearing decent knickers - that's all I'm saying.

No, that's a lie - I'm going to say more. I was talking to Nat the other week about what this blog should be for and briefly (there it is again!) I considered making it into the sort of bookwormish blog I could proudly show to other people as testament to my fine talents as a writer. But recently, all I have been fucking thinking about is work, work, work, prospects, prospects, prospects and I am not remotely interested in talking about that old shite right now.

What I do want to talk about again is sex and alcohol, which have once again lured me into trouble of the most titillating kind and left me feeling fired up and excited and ready to burst!

But maybe later. Once again, all I will say is thank god I was wearing fabulous knickers.